Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Breast massage not standard [chiropractic] care -- expert

Breast massage not standard care -- expert

Friday, November 04, 2005
By Shantell M. Kirkendoll

LANSING -- When it comes to chiropractic care, manipulating women's breasts is off-limits, according to Michigan law and what's reasonable for providing care to patients, a state witness testified Thursday.

Dr. Kirk Lee, former president of the Michigan Chiropractic Society, was the prosecution's final witness as the state made its case to continue the emergency suspension of a Fenton chiropractor's license.

The license of Dr. Robert J. Moore, 40, was suspended Sept. 26 after two teenage girls told police Moore diagnosed them with uneven breasts and provided, at least to one 17-year-old girl, breast manipulations.

"Would there be any need to touch breast tissue?" Assistant Attorney General Michele M. Wagner asked.

"To the best of my knowledge, no," Lee said. "There would be no reason to touch a female breast whether here or in any other state outside of Michigan."

Lee was referring to Michigan law which limits chiropractors to treating only spinal problems and back pain.

Other states are more lenient, but Lee noted that breast tissue is not a part of common chiropractic techniques.

The first complaint to Fenton police was lodged in 2003 bya 16-year-old female file clerk at TLC chiropractic, Moore's practice. As a condition of employment, staff underwent chiropractic adjustments.

The girl's parents made her quit after she told them about Moore's "uncomfortable" treatments of her rib and chest pain following a basketball injury. He also diagnosed her with uneven breasts, but never touched them, she testified Thursday.

But the next year, another file clerk, age 17 at the time, said Moore pressed her breasts on at least five occasions during after-hours visits and performed breast manipulations at his home when she baby-sat his son.

The 17-year-old was asked to change her clothes for Moore to perform the treatments on her breasts and an injured shoulder. She was asked to either adjust her tank top or take it off and wear a gown or one of his long-sleeved shirts, she testified last week.

"It would not have been necessary, no, to see the shoulder any better," Lee said when asked if the girl needed to disrobe.

Moore denies he ever touched the girls inappropriately.

Fenton police continue to get complaints from other women about Moore following newspaper reports of the license suspension, said Fenton Police Detective Ronald Skarcynski.

The Genesee County Prosecutor's Office is awaiting the end of Skarcynski's investigation before it acts on a police request to file criminal sexual conduct charges against Moore.

Meanwhile, Moore's attorneys said the case, which started two years ago, does not require an immediate license suspension. Such suspensions are made - even before a health care worker has a disciplinary hearing - if the state Department of Community Health believes the public's health is in danger.

"Nothing presented here supports an emergency situation," said Moore's attorney Richard Kraus.

Administrative Tribunal Judge Erick Williams will decide whether to lift the suspension after the defense finishes its case today with testimony from two office managers.

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